ACT Prep

Preparation for the ACT


Luisa Madadov

Every year, the ACT is used by millions of high school students to test the knowledge they have learned throughout high school for college admissions. To succeed it may take some preparation. A well-prepared strategy begins with developing a comprehensive study plan, becoming well-versed in the topics covered on the ACT, and receiving specialized tips for each section if you wish to achieve optimal results. 

The ACT, just like the SAT, is a widely-recognized standardized test required for college admission and scholarship eligibility in the U.S. It is divided into two sections: a multiple-choice test with four sections and an optional writing test. The purpose of the multiple-choice section is to evaluate the knowledge and skills students have acquired up through high school in four subjects: English, mathematics, reading, and science.

It may be impossible to memorize all the material for the ACT. A large portion of ACT preparation involves learning the test itself. Savannah Nydegger, a junior at Copper Hills, is currently preparing for the ACT. “As of now, I’m taking extra notes in the four subjects we’ll be tested on so I can study them throughout the week. Some of my classes also give us example questions and tips to prepare,” Nydegger said. Starting early will allow you to prepare better and avoid overwhelming yourself. Studying for the ACT should be a marathon, not a sprint, so begin as soon as you can. Kaplan is an online leading global provider of educational programs with wide learning techniques and systems. “It’s ideal to spread your ACT prep over two or three months…,” said their website on How to Study for the ACT. These experts say to divide the total number of prep hours required by the number of weeks until your exam. As a result, with the test 12 weeks away you would want to study for 6 hours and 40 minutes per week with 80 hours in total. 

While it’s crucial to study as much as you can each day, getting enough sleep is just as critical. The week before the test, you should pay extra attention to your sleep hygiene. Although you might be tempted to study or cram extra hard the night before the test, try to give yourself the night off. Aim to avoid doing too much studying the day before by lightly reviewing past practice exams or notes. Clay Copper, a nationally-recognized test prep expert, says, “Going into a live test exhausted will not only sap what little energy you do have when testing starts, but will quickly destroy your focus…Give your body as much energy as possible, so you’re refreshed and eager the following morning”

 Luckily, students who attended Copper Hills have the chance to get free in-depth practice with teachers covering the four subjects. These classes will be held in the Media Center from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm. Science will be taught on the following days: 2/1, 2/8, and 2/28. Math will be taught on: 2/7, 2/9, and 2/21. Language arts (English and reading) will be taught on: 2/6, 2/13, and 2/26. An ACT prep book is also available to check out in the media center. This book is required to be brought along when attending classes. 

The ACT has a website ( that provides an understanding of what the test is and how to study. Those who register with will get a complimentary ACT study guide, a complete practice assessment comprising the four sections and writing prompt, as well as useful examination-taking tactics. The website has also collaborated with Kaplan to offer free online ACT preparation sessions. Following the completion of the test, you’ll obtain a full evaluation that exhibits which queries were not answered correctly. offers free materials to help you enhance the weaker topics that were indicated in your missed questions. You have the option to retake the practice ACT multiple times. 

 Anna Gess is a senior at Copper Hills. To prepare for the test, she says, “ I bought an ACT prep book which allowed me to visualize what to expect on the test.” The practice test allowed her to discover the areas she struggled on. If you don’t know why you missed a question, you are most likely to make that mistake again. She also mentioned that her math teacher would give an ACT question every morning in class. “Don’t stress, and take those practice tests because you might just end up getting free money aka scholarships!”, says Gess.

As for the English portion, you’ll encounter five passages on the ACT English test, covering anything from historical essays to personal memoirs. You must determine whether the underlined passages are right as written or if one of the other responses would correct or improve the choice. Other questions will require you to add, delete, or rearrange text while others will require you to assess the paragraph as a whole. It all depends on your ability to fix errors in grammar, punctuation, organization, and style. 

On the other hand, the types of math you should expect on the test are trigonometry, elementary algebra, pre-algebra, coordinate geometry, intermediate algebra, and plane geometry. The most important thing to remember is to memorize the equations and formulas. Don’t be afraid to try different methods to check your answer. Redo a problem with a different process if your first attempt doesn’t match with an answer choice. 

 Be conscious of relationships between or among ideas when doing the reading section. You may take note of important ideas in the passages. Examine the questions first, and then read the passage after that. This would give an unambiguous view of what you should search for in an accurate response.

 Reinforcing the fundamentals of physics, chemistry, and biology is important. You are shown the data in the form of text, tables, graphs, or illustrations. Carefully read and analyze them to comprehend the connection between the various variables.

 The ACT may seem overwhelming, but with careful examination and preparation, the possible chance to score high is very likely. The ability to pass all depends on how hard you study. Knowing what areas you need to work on and gaining more knowledge will help you greatly. Lifestyle factors such as sleep, diet, and exercise can naturally boost your energy and stamina, but you also need to train for the specific challenge at hand. Therefore, set a realistic ACT score mark, as this will keep you focused on exactly what you need. Take those practice tests occasionally and always remember to keep calm before taking the test.